Delhi sees over 138% spike in fire cases this month compared to May 2023

- May 27, 2024
| By : Team Patriot |

The Delhi Fire Services has said that the startling increase in the number of fire incidents could be attributed to the rise in temperatures, highlighting the heightened risk of short circuits during summer

By Kushan Niyogi and Saurav Gupta

Delhi: The number of fire incidents in the national capital more than doubled in May 2024 compared to the previous year, according to data accessed by Patriot.

According to the Delhi Fire Service (DFS) data, the number of fire calls skyrocketed by 138.5% from 956 in May 2023 to 2,280 in May 2024.

A total of 956 calls were received regarding fire incidents from May 1 to May 20, last year while this year, the department received a total of 2,280 calls during the same period.

The data came a day after a devastating fire in a neonatal hospital in East Delhi’s Vivek Vihar claimed the lives of seven babies, while five others were injured and currently undergoing treatment.

Throwing light on the reasons behind such fire incidents, Atul Garg, Director of Delhi Fire Services, said, “In summer, the risk of fire increases significantly as short circuits occur when electrical wires or appliances overheat, leading to sparks or electrical arcs that can ignite nearby flammable materials. During summer months, high temperatures can strain electrical systems, causing wires to become overheated and more prone to short circuits.”

Also read: Flames spread through the entire hospital within minutes, heard 3-4 explosions, say eyewitnesses of Baby Care Hospital tragedy in East Delhi’s Vivek Vihar   

“Last year, we were getting around 160 calls per day.  However, in view of the soaring temperature in the city, this year, the number of calls per day increased to 200,” Garg added.

Comparing the data of the first five months of 2023 and 2024 till May 20, in January this year, the number of fire calls increased by 2.8% from 1,171 to 1,204, while total calls decreased slightly by 2.5% from 2,567 to 2,502.

“February 2024 saw a 9.7% rise in fire calls from 941 to 1,032 and an 8.7% increase in total calls from 1,977 to 2,150. March 2024 recorded 1,328 fire calls, an 8.0% increase from 1,230, with a modest 2.4% rise in total calls from 2,425 to 2,483,” the DFS said.

“The most substantial increase occurred in April 2024, with fire calls rising by 40.9% from 1,672 to 2,357, and total calls jumping by 27.2% from 2,742 to 3,487. By May 20, 2024, fire calls had surged by 138.5% from 956 to 2,280, and total calls had risen by 80.5% from 1,748 to 3,156”, it stated.

“Fatalities showed a mixed trend: January 2024 saw a 33.3% increase in deaths from 12 to 16, while February experienced a dramatic 700% rise from 2 to 16. However, March 2024 had a 14.3% decrease in fatalities from 14 to 12, and April saw a 33.3% increase from 3 to 4. By May 20, 2024, deaths had decreased by 40% from 5 to 3”, the data stated.

“The number of individuals saved or injured in fires generally increased, with January 2024 seeing a 41.7% rise from 36 to 51, February a 7.7% increase from 39 to 42, March a 29.2% increase from 48 to 62, and April a significant 85.7% rise from 42 to 78. By May 20, 2024, the number of people saved or injured had surged by 308.3% from 12 to 49”, DFS data indicated.

“Animal rescues generally increased, with January 2024 seeing a 2.4% rise from 293 to 300, February a 12.1% increase from 224 to 251, March a 20.0% increase from 260 to 312, and April a 14.6% rise from 261 to 299. However, by May 20, 2024, the increase was modest at 2.9% from 174 to 179,” it said.

“In contrast, bird rescues showed a declining trend: January 2024 saw an 18.5% decrease from 308 to 251, February a 12.5% decrease from 257 to 225, March a 48.4% decrease from 374 to 193, and April a 31.9% decrease from 235 to 160. By May 20, 2024, bird rescues had dropped by 45.6% from 158 to 86”, DFS data revealed.

Also read: In wake of neo-natal hospital tragedy, Delhi govt to direct private, state-run facilities to complete fire audit by June 8

(With inputs by Saurav Gupta)